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Rural wildlife: five bird species to look out for at Escrick Park

By Helen Pentith  //  Tue 7th June 2016

Whether you’re an avid twitcher or the world’s most novice naturalist, catching a glimpse of a rare or unusual bird species is always a delightful feeling. One of the perks of being based in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside is that the birdlife around Escrick Park is both diverse and plentiful. Come and visit our award-winning Hollicarrs holiday park this summer and you might have a chance to spot some of these fascinating species…

Cuckoos

Cuckoos are migratory birds, and visit our shores between early spring and mid-summer each year. You’re more likely to hear them than see them, with their distinctive calls echoing through the woods and meadows of England. Their bluish colouring and striped breast feathers make them beautiful to look at, but cuckoos have a well-publicised dark side: they’re ‘brood parasites’, meaning that they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, where the aggressive cuckoo chick outcompetes its surrogate siblings.

Swallows

Swallows aren’t especially rare, but a sighting of these agile birds on the wing always gladdens the heart. They’re harbingers of summer, evoking memories of sultry summer evenings spent enjoying picnics and barbecues in the peaceful British countryside. Swallows like to take flying insects on the wing, and will often fly just inches above the surface of lakes and rivers to catch their airborne prey. Their displays are a joy to watch.

Kingfishers

Kingfishers are native to the UK, and breed here year-round. Though comparatively abundant they are difficult to spot, as these shy, fast-flying creatures will often dart away when they hear approaching voices or footsteps. These beautiful blue-and-orange birds can be seen throughout the waterways of England, and lucky visitors to Escrick Park might be fortunate enough to spot our resident bird as he hunts the lakes and streams of the Estate. Remain quiet and keep your eyes peeled to increase your chances…

 

House martins

House Martins are so named because they nest in the eaves of houses, in the rafters of barns and in other areas of human habitation. This makes them easy to spot and regular fixtures of our summers. These migratory birds visit between April and October, feeding on flying insects during the warmer months of the year. Look out for house martins nesting in the buildings of the Escrick Park Estate.

Oystercatchers

These charming wading birds are usually considered coastal animals, but Hollicarrs visitors can see our resident nesting pairs every summer. Oystercatchers’ black-and-white bodies and bright red/orange beaks make them especially distinctive, and although they usually feed on cockles along the nation’s coastlines, while inland their diet switches to other invertebrates such as worms. We always look forward to watching our oystercatchers when the days lengthen and the weather warms up each year.

These five bird species are just a small sample of the wildlife you can spot here at Escrick Park. Hollicarrs owners can enjoy a relaxing retreat to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside every year, with our extensive facilities ensuring that there’s always something on offer to keep you entertained. Contact us today to find out more about lodge availability at the award-winning Hollicarrs holiday park.

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